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-   -   Advice, career changer (http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuarial_discussion_forum/showthread.php?t=329970)

anothermathteacher 02-11-2018 07:30 PM

Advice, career changer
 
Hi all,

A little background on me: I am currently a high school math teacher looking to change to an actuarial career. Today, I just passed Exam C after studying for three months. Before that, I passed Exams FM and P after studying for a month for each.

I seek a couple pieces of advice. First, where to go from here? I decided not to register for March's MFE offering, instead opting to wait for the July offering of IFM. I lack significant computer skills (took a couple courses in Java and Python in undergraduate, but I can't speak to having used these in any significant way). I keep track of my grades on Excel, but this is remarkably low-level stuff.

I am thinking that upping my computer skills would be worthwhile. I am considering enrolling in TIA's computer skills course. I think that improving my computer skills would be the most effective and economical way to improve my resume. Would you all agree?

Also, I have an interview coming up for an internship with a life insurance company. Ideally, I would prefer to land something full-time. But, it seems as if many (most?) companies aren't considering candidates for full-time positions who have not had an internship. My thoughts are, I landed this interview with just two exams passed. I would like to test the job-market waters with the third exam under my belt. But, I would also hate to turn away a solid internship before having a full-time position locked down.

In the event that I am offered the internship before anything full-time materializes, would I be a fool to turn down the internship and hold out for something full-time?

In advance, thank you all for any tips, advice, etc.

manaknight14 02-11-2018 07:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anothermathteacher (Post 9238210)
In the event that I am offered the internship before anything full-time materializes, would I be a fool to turn down the internship and hold out for something full-time?

In today's EL market, if you have an offer in hand and nothing else concrete on the horizon, take the internship. Trying to find a full-time position is extremely tough as a career changer, and internship offers are even rarer. Whatever gets you that first bit of relevant experience is crucial. I'm a career changer myself, and my first position was an internship. I'm so glad I took that offer; not only was it a great introduction to the industry, it led directly to the full-time position I have now (even though it's with a different company).

Locrian 02-12-2018 09:00 AM

Only thing I'll add is this: I worked with a few different ex-teachers in my 7 years as an actuary and they were all awesome. Something about the switch worked very well for them.

Best of luck!

Enough Exams Already 02-12-2018 09:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anothermathteacher (Post 9238210)
Hi all,

A little background on me: I am currently a high school math teacher looking to change to an actuarial career. Today, I just passed Exam C after studying for three months. Before that, I passed Exams FM and P after studying for a month for each.

I seek a couple pieces of advice. First, where to go from here? I decided not to register for March's MFE offering, instead opting to wait for the July offering of IFM. I lack significant computer skills (took a couple courses in Java and Python in undergraduate, but I can't speak to having used these in any significant way). I keep track of my grades on Excel, but this is remarkably low-level stuff.

I am thinking that upping my computer skills would be worthwhile. I am considering enrolling in TIA's computer skills course. I think that improving my computer skills would be the most effective and economical way to improve my resume. Would you all agree?

Also, I have an interview coming up for an internship with a life insurance company. Ideally, I would prefer to land something full-time. But, it seems as if many (most?) companies aren't considering candidates for full-time positions who have not had an internship. My thoughts are, I landed this interview with just two exams passed. I would like to test the job-market waters with the third exam under my belt. But, I would also hate to turn away a solid internship before having a full-time position locked down.

In the event that I am offered the internship before anything full-time materializes, would I be a fool to turn down the internship and hold out for something full-time?

In advance, thank you all for any tips, advice, etc.

Your computer skills you can improve on your own pretty easily. Walkenbach's Excel book will help, if you work it, especially the VBA parts. (VBA syntax looks a fair bit like Java and/or Python, in that it's a mix of object methods and functions applied to variables. Plus it has a nice beat, and it's easy to dance to. But I digress.) There's Coursera as well, if you need the discipline of deadlines. A book on database design would be useful if it makes you practice with Microsoft Access and importing from/exporting to other MS Office applications. But there are lots of ways to skin the computer skills cat.

If you can get a summer internship over dates that fit around your teaching, that would be a fault-tolerant way of getting a foot in the industry door. If after the internship you don't get an offer, you can always go back to teaching while searching for an actuarial position. And if you do get an offer, mazel tov!

Dr T Non-Fan 02-12-2018 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anothermathteacher (Post 9238210)
Hi all,

A little background on me:

...

1. I seek a couple pieces of advice. First, where to go from here?

2. I am thinking that upping my computer skills would be worthwhile. I am considering enrolling in TIA's computer skills course. I think that improving my computer skills would be the most effective and economical way to improve my resume. Would you all agree?

3. Also, I have an interview coming up for an internship with a life insurance company. Ideally, I would prefer to land something full-time. But, it seems as if many (most?) companies aren't considering candidates for full-time positions who have not had an internship. My thoughts are, I landed this interview with just two exams passed. I would like to test the job-market waters with the third exam under my belt. But, I would also hate to turn away a solid internship before having a full-time position locked down.

In the event that I am offered the internship before anything full-time materializes, would I be a fool to turn down the internship and hold out for something full-time?

In advance, thank you all for any tips, advice, etc.

1. Start applying everywhere. You never get the job you don't apply for.
2. Meh. If you have SOME computer experience, that should be enough. Being able to learn is important. But, convincing an employer that you are able to learn is critical.
3. You can take the internship AND apply to positions. I don't think you will get the internship if it is designed specifically for "rising seniors" over summer holiday (98% of internships). you might get it ifit is designed specifically for someone they want to hire in September full-time (2% of internships).

Dr T Non-Fan 02-12-2018 12:36 PM

Also, a handy thread already made:

http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...d.php?t=230954

anothermathteacher 02-15-2018 02:41 PM

Thank you all for your responses! The interview went really well, and I'm actually hoping that an offer comes through on the internship. I think that I'd get along well with this smaller company.


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